The Twenty Third Dream Of The Waiting Prince

Now this morning, my Lord spoke to me of his latest dream. And he said to me, “My dear scribe, last night as I slept, I dreamt. And this dream was itself a nightmare, and of it I wish I did not have to speak. Yet it is my duty here to recount all of which I dream, and not only those that I wish to give voice. And so I shall speak of this vision, that gave rise in me this terror, which still I feel now. For I was alone in the Desert Of The Burning Plains, searching for the Melancholy Palace, which through the smoke shall never see again the sky. And as I walked I heard behind me the footsteps of another, yet when I called to them there was no reply. And no matter how far I walked, nor how fast I ran, these footsteps pursued me still. And even when I turned to meet them, in the hope of confronting this pursuer, I could not meet them, for now the footsteps came from another direction entirely, as if they were behind me once more. And in the swirls of smoke around me there appeared the shadows of phantoms, yet when I reached out my hands, they dissipated into dust, only to be replaced by another, and another, and so on, each one always just beyond my reach. And when I finally reached the walls of the Palace, its walls were now black with soot, though they were meant to remain unblemished for all eternity. And as I leaned out to touch these stones, through my own ragged breaths I could hear behind me the footsteps again, getting closer by the second. Now out of the smoke I saw the hands of another reach out towards me, and as their fingers grasped my shoulders, I looked in horror at the figure that emerged from the smoke, for his face was my own.”